It’s Valentine’s Day(ish), so that can only mean a romance-themed Writers’ Soc prompt night. Last year, I wrote a superhero story about a monster destroying a city, so there’s some flexibility.

This year, I wrote a poem. It’s set in the same vague fantasy world as Winter Keen and, I guess, The Privilege of Fools (though it’s not comedic).

The prompt was a quote from Lao Tzu: “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

 

Tristyn and Adeline

Sir Tristyn, atop his steed draped in mail,

Rode boldly into the depths of the vale

Where his love, Adeline, the Maiden Blade,

Had fallen, lost when her band was betrayed.

 

He found her amongst the wounded and dead,

Her arm in a sling, a rag ‘round her head.

‘Fair Adeline,’ said he, ‘I feared you be slain,

‘Though now I will see the dawn’s light again.’

 

‘My lover,’ she said, ‘The dawn is yet stilled,

‘For my warriors were tricked, ambushed and killed.

‘Our guide was a ghoul, disguised in man’s skin.

‘I swear, on our love, he’ll pay for his sin.’

 

Head bowed low, Tristyn agreed to the quest,

‘Til the traitor was slain, ne’er would they rest.

Their quarry sent forth vile servants in swarms;

Together, the lovers weathered such storms.

 

The storm broke and they reached the ghoul king’s throne,

A cannibal wretch on a seat of bones.

‘You have slaughtered my kin,’ the foul ghoul said,

‘But you are both wounded, soon to be dead.’

 

The ghoul leapt, fuelled by hunger eternal

Its eyes burned bright with fire infernal.

Adeline and Tristyn did hold their ground,

In love for the other, victory was found.

 

Love gives you courage, a reason to die;

To be loved grants strength to hold up the sky.

As one, the lovers could not be withstood;

Their swords stained black with their enemy’s blood.

 

Heroes are known for cutting off their kin,

For barring their hearts from those they’d let in.

To spare their loved ones mortality’s dread,

They walk alone, with none mourning them dead.

 

But Tristyn and Adeline held no fear;

For them, their loved one was always stood near.

They knew if one fell, then so would their love,

To meet again in those fields above.

 

—–

The header image is The Ghoul King, by Dmitry Burmak, from Frostgrave: The Thaw of the Lich Lord.

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